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Corporate insolvencies in H1 2018 total 435, down 4% when compared with H1 2017

Services sector overtakes construction sector with most insolvencies in H1 2018

03 July 2018 There were 435 insolvencies in the first half of 2018, according to figures released by Deloitte.

The number of insolvencies is a decrease of 4% when compared with the first half of 2017. The services sector had the most number of insolvencies with a total of 96 appointments.

The 435 corporate insolvencies are broken down as follows:

  • Creditors’ voluntary liquidations accounted for the majority, with 297 recorded in the period (68%). In the comparable period in 2017, creditors’ voluntary liquidations accounted for 268 of the appointments recorded.
  • 83 receiverships were recorded (19%), compared with 148 in H1 2017.
  • There were 43 court liquidator appointments in the period, up 20 from H1 2017. In 70% of cases, either the Revenue Commissioners or another creditor took the petition to wind up.
  • Examinerships continue to remain at low levels with only 12 examinership appointments in the period. This represents just 3% of the 435 corporate insolvencies, in line with the 12 appointments recorded in H1 2017.

Commenting David Van Dessel, Partner, Restructuring Services said: “The rate of insolvencies in Ireland has continued to fall in 2018, which is encouraging and was expected; however, it is notable that the latest rate of decline is lower than we observed in the first quarter of this year (14%) and the comparable period last year (11%). This may be an indication that there remains a cohort of so called ‘zombie’ companies that continue in their attempts to recover from the severe economic recession but do not succeed, as well as new start-up companies that do not prevail given the particularly high incidence of failure in start-ups. In addition, we also observe a trend whereby existing companies, in an attempt to expand their business in line with improved economic conditions, dedicate limited financial resources to expansion plans, against a backdrop of restrictive credit lines. These expansion plans may not deliver the necessary return on investment, leaving these companies exposed to a higher than normal risk of failure. 

“While unsurprising given the rate of examinership activity over the last number of years, it is nonetheless disappointing that there were so few examinerships in the period. Closer analysis of prior periods has shown that the majority of companies who attempt an examinership return successfully to trading. This means many struggling companies have the potential to return to an even keel if they attempt an examinership. Companies who deal with their historical debts through a restructuring process will emerge with stronger balance sheets, which in turn opens doors for them to debt and equity providers, enabling them to grow their businesses. It is the directors of companies in difficulty that the power to change this by seeking help early and using the examinership process.”

Corporate insolvencies in H1 2018 by region:

  • Leinster          295 (68% of total appointments)
  • Munster          98 (23%)
  • Connacht       34 (8%)
  • Ulster             8 (2%)

Corporate insolvencies in H1 2018 – top five industries: 

  • The services industry recorded the highest level of appointments with 96 (22%). This is a decrease of 44% from H1 2017.
  • In second position is the construction sector with 85 appointments, 20% of the total. In Q1 2018, the construction sector recorded the highest number of insolvencies.
  • The retail sector has the third highest level, with 64 insolvencies, 15% of the total.
  • The hospitality had 38 insolvencies in the period, 9% of the total.
  • The manufacturing sector with 33 insolvencies in the period, 8% of the total.

David van Dessel concluded: “Since 2007, the highest number of insolvencies was seen in 2012 with 1,684. The number recorded each year has been declining consistently since then. While we aren’t seeing the low levels of insolvencies recorded during the so-called Celtic Tiger years, it may be that the particularly low numbers seen in 2007 and 2008 were outliers themselves and the levels of this year and last are a more realistic baseline to compare future levels to. Looking to 2018 we predict that the overall level of corporate insolvencies will continue to decline at rates observed in previous years, being approximately 10% per year.”


For Further Information Please Contact

Aoibheann O’Sullivan


01 498 0300 / 087 6291453


Claire Quinn


01 417 2356 / 087 9777783


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